Shiffrin Eyes Yet Another Slalom Record
Team USA's Kelli Stack (16) celebrates with teammates Hilary Knight (21) and Josephine Pucci (24) after scoring a goal against Team Canada in the first period of a women's hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Carlos Gonzalez) ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; SOFT OUT MINNEAPOLIS-AREA TV NOT TV; MAGAZINES OUT
Lienz, Austria — American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin has a chance to end her magnificent year by setting yet another record in today’s final race of 2013.
At 18 years, 291 days, Shiffrin, a former Lyme resident, can become the youngest female skier to win five World Cup slaloms in one calendar year. The record is held by retired Croatian standout Janica Kostelic, who was 67 days older when she captured five slaloms in 2000.
“I didn’t even know that, I guess now I am thinking about that,” Shiffrin told The Associated Press, adding that setting records “is definitely part of my goals.”
Shiffrin, who has been dominating the slalom circuit this year by winning both the world title and the World Cup discipline title, has five career wins in total.
After her maiden victory last year, Shiffrin won in Zagreb, Croatia; Flachau, Austria; and Lenzerheide, Switzerland in early 2013 before winning the first slalom of the current season in Levi, Finland, last month.
By winning today, Shiffrin would join a group of six women who have won at least five slaloms in one year. Marlies Schild has achieved the feat four times — and the Austrian is chasing a record 35th career slalom win.
Shiffrin is returning to the course of her first ever World Cup podium finish after placing third here in 2011.
Coming off a third-place finish in Saturday’s giant slalom for her second podium this month, Shiffrin admitted she finds it increasingly difficult to focus on two different disciplines.
Anna Fenninger of Austria won the women’s World Cup giant slalom for her fifth career victory.
Fenninger was second after the first run but overtook leader Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden in the second to win in a combined time of 2 minutes, 17.00 seconds. Lindell-Vikarby was 0.50 seconds behind.
It’s the third year in a row that Fenninger has won a World Cup race on Dec. 28.
Austria’s Kathrin Zettel was the only other racer to finish within a second off the lead, 0.96 behind.
Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein came 17th but kept her lead in the overall standings.
Lindsey Vonn sat out the race to rest her injured right knee ahead of the Sochi Olympics.
Pats Make Moves
Foxborough, Mass. — The Patriots signed safety Kanorris Davis and defensive back Justin Green from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Saturday.
Davis, a linebacker in college at Troy, has played two games on special teams this season. Green, from Illinois, played in New England’s victory over Denver on Nov. 24.
On Friday, New England released wide receiver Austin Collie, signed running back/slot receiver Sam McGuffie to the practice squad and released running back Cierre Wood from the practice squad.
U.S. Beats Slovakia
Malmo, Sweden — Jack Eichel, Ryan Hartman and Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelyck each had a goal and an assist, leading the defending champion United States to a 6-3 victory over Slovakia on Saturday in the world junior hockey tournament.
In the other Group A game, the Czech Republic stunned Canada, 5-4 in a shootout. Dominik Simon scored the deciding goal in the tiebreaker.
The United States (2-0-0-) scored its first three goals on power plays.
The Americans opened the tournament with a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday. The U.S. will play Germany (0-2-0) on today, and finish group play Tuesday against Canada (1-0-1).
U.S. Women Beat Canada
St. Paul, Minn. — Former Hanover, N.H., resident Hilary Knight scored the lone shootout goal and the United States women’s hockey team beat Canada 3-2 on Saturday in a pre-Olympic exhibition game.
Jessie Vetter stopped all three Canadian shootout attempts. Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter scored for the United States in regulation, and Meghan Acosta-Marciano and Marie-Philip Poulin countered for Canada.
Although the game was physical — six of the 15 penalties were for checking, roughing or charging — the game did not feature the late-game fisticuffs that has recently become part of the series.
Djokovic Beats Ferrer
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — Novak Djokovic maintained his unbeaten record in Abu Dhabi by beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 Saturday to win his third straight World Tennis Championship title.
Djokovic, who finished the year with a 24-match winning streak on the ATP tour since losing the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal, needed just 82 minutes to dispatch the third-ranked Ferrer in the final of the invitational exhibition tournament.
Djokovic converted his third match point to take home the $250,000 winner’s check.
Earlier, the top-ranked Nadal won a third-place playoff match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Dodgers Star Arrested
Naples, Fla. — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was arrested on a reckless driving charge for the second time this year after officers clocked him going 110 mph in a 70 mph zone.
A news release from the Florida Highway Patrol said a white Mercedes driven by the 23-year-old Cuban defector was pulled over around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Authorities said Puig was arrested and charged with reckless driving and taken to the Collier County Jail for processing.
In April, when he was still in the minors, Puig was charged with reckless driving and speeding after Chattanooga, Tenn., police clocked him going 97 mph in a 50 mph zone. The charges were dismissed in November after Puig completed community service in Los Angeles.